Phi Beta Kappa

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most prestigious national academic honorary society in the United States. For more than two hundred years, election to Phi Beta Kappa has been a recognition of intellectual capacities well employed, especially in the acquiring of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. The Society was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia; the UC Davis chapter, designated Kappa of California, was chartered in 1968.

Since 1776, 17 U.S. Presidents38 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and more than 130 Nobel Laureates have been inducted as members—as well as countless authors, diplomats, athletes, researchers, actors, and business leaders. View a list of notable Phi Beta Kappa members here.

Kappa Chapter recognizes by election as Members in Course juniors and seniors who have compiled outstanding academic records in a curriculum including the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Election and initiation take place annually in spring. 


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